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Aquae Urbis Romae: The Waters of the City of Rome

Aquae Urbis Romae is an interactive cartographic history of the relationships between hydrological and hydraulic systems and their impact on the urban development of Rome, Italy. Our study begins in 753 BC and will ultimately extend to the present day. We examine the intersections between natural  systems--springs, rain, streams, marshes, and the Tiber River--and constructed systems including aqueducts, fountains, sewers, bridges, conduits, etc., that together create the water infrastructure of Rome.

This project aims to increase understanding of the profound relationships that exist between water systems, cultural practice, and the urban development of Rome, and by its example, in all cities, landscapes, and environments. I hope this study will foster work by other scholars and designers interested in exploring the ways in which water infrastructure can be exploited toward the future development of humane, ecologically responsible, and engaging civic environments; all are important factors as today we face both critical water shortages and rising sea levels due to climate change.

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